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Outsourced not targetting India

world Updated: Sep 21, 2010 23:43 IST
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The new NBC sitcom Outsourced is certain to attract criticism over its expected content — the controversial topic of outsourcing. But those associated with the show contend that there will be negative exploitation of offshoring jobs and instead, this will be a workplace comedy that humanises the India-based call center for an American audience.

In an interview, the show’s executive producer Robert Borden, said, “The practice of outsourcing isn’t something we’re going to explore. For us, outsourcing is really just a way to get our character to India.”

The 30-minute sitcom focuses on a manager of a Kansas City-based maker of novelty items, Todd Dempsy, who finds that his job has been outsourced to India. Indian-origin actor Rizwan Manji, who plays Rajiv Gidwani, played down any cause for controversy, as he said, “This is not a political show about American workers losing their jobs.”

Parvesh Cheena, who plays the office dork Gupta, said he didn’t believe the new series will fuel the flames against outsourcing in America: “It’s not an account of all Indians, and it’s not an account of all call centers workers either.”

The show’s episodes have been filmed on sets in California, with some exteriors shot in Mumbai, with scenes like Dempsy and Gidwani sharing an autorickshaw being greenscreened or imposed against the India backdrop.

Borden hoped to have a larger Indian footprint when it came to production.

He said, “In the future, we’ll be filming more green screen footage in India. For example, we have an upcoming episode where our characters get stuck on a train. We’ll hire a crew in India to film from a moving train. With success, we hope to film more in India.”